THE WHO: Punch Punch Kick (Los Angeles, CA)
THE WHAT: When a band is actually a group of longtime friends who just happen to love making and playing music together, it can be a recipe for all manner of fun shenanigans especially when there’s a shared fondness for things fantasy and medieval. Such is the case with Phil McDonald (vox/guitar), Chris Miranda (guitar/vox), Ryan Malloy (bass/vox), and Reade Pryor (drums) aka LA’s Punch Punch Kick because, when the time came to make a music video for their bright and punk-tinged power pop “Licking My Wounds” (from their 2017 self-titled debut album out via Lolipop Records), they took a dive into the world of LARP (Live Action Role-Playing).
“Paul Emerson, who directed the video, came up with the idea,” says McDonald. While the song, itself, is about Mr. and Mrs. McDonald struggling to keep their relationship together when tedious things like work and barely seeing one another keep you apart, the video is more like a fun afternoon in the park with Medieval Times trainees. “The scenario has two opposing factions, each led by their own warrior battling it out – could be territory control, avenging a fallen family member or perhaps simply causing havoc in a peaceful land.” McDonald adds.
Amidst the snarling, warfare and battle cries, by video’s end one may interpret that peace is eventually restored in relationship-land.
Even though the band had heard of LARP, none of them had actually participated in the activity so they got proactive in the research. “We thought it’d be a good idea to get immersed into it prior to the shoot,” McDonald shares. “So Paul and I went out and got garbed up at a game being held by Twin Mask, a really great local SoCal LARP. We both loved it and found it very cathartic. All of us got deep into it all.”
As for the folks actually battling it out on the field? “Many of the people in the video had never been LARPing before or ever carried a sword,” admits McDonald. “But by the end of the day, they were all confident and having a total blast.”
“It was a ton of fun.”